Harthope Linn

17 April 2023

Lilburn Estates called upon Mountain Rescue’s assistance for a sheep who had managed to get itself into a ‘difficult to access’ location and couldn’t do a ewe-turn. The sheep was spotted the previous day by some walkers in the gorge below Harthope Linn. When the shepherd and estate workers went to check out the location of the sheep, they soon realised it would be too dangerous for them to effect a rescue themselves.

Members from the North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team and our Team duly responded to the challenge – it proved to be a great training opportunity. The Estate transported all of our rope rescue and water kit, and members, into the remote location in the Cheviot Hills using their Argocat.

A technical rope rescue system was then rigged to enable us to lower our ‘sheep whisper’ rescuer and a dumpy bag (thank you Jewson!) down to the sheep. Two of our swiftwater rescue technicians approached the sheep, which was stuck on a ledge above the plunge pool, from downstream to assist with getting it into the dumpy bag. An option had been to extract the sheep down the river but unfortunately, the sheep couldn’t swim the baaaackstroke!

Much to the delight of the shepherds, the rescue was successful. Once the sheep had been checked over, Team members provided AdventureSmart advice to ensure the sheep takes appropriate safety precautions in the hills from herein.

The incident involved 13 Team members for 4 hours and 50 minutes.